Out Of The Box Intermedia presents CAPACITY at Art Athina 16

Out Of The Box Intermedia is pleased to present CAPACITY, a new project by Navine G. Khan-Dossos curated by Sozita Goudouna in collaboration and with the support of Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative at Art-Athina International Fair (Booth P51).

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Since 18th November 2015, the Macedonian border has been strictly controlled, giving intermittent passage through only to Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans. Many thousands of immigrants (not defined as ‘war refugees’) are unable to pass this border at Idomeni, particularly young single men of Pakistani, Iranian and Moroccan origin. As conditions deteriorate at this point of standstill, many thousands have returned to Athens, unable to move further into Europe. With this rollback into the Capital, the Olympic Taekwondo stadium was used for a limited period in December 2015, to receive those unable to find shelter in the city in the winter months. In particular it hosted people stuck in metro stations seeking cover from the downpours of those weeks. But with a deadline of 17th December when the stadium had to be ready for a Sports Federation event, it was only ever going to be a short-term measure for a long-term problem. In an interview, camp manager Koutsianas Panos said the building’s maximum capacity was 1,700, but he wanted to keep numbers below 1,000 for safety reasons[1].

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But within days of opening, the stadium was hosting approximately 2,000 people, many of whom, after just one night, were trying to do everything possible to leave the facility. Press were not allowed entry to the facility but an informal poll of 20 people exiting the stadium found only one to be sleeping on a mattress, despite press statements saying that beds would be provided for all. The rest were sleeping on the blankets on the vast concrete floor. Over-used facilities made for filthy surroundings, and reports of frustration causing fighting to break out on numerous occasions, specifically between Iranian and Moroccan males, rendered the stadium uninhabitable for migrant families.

“I would rather sleep outside,” one man said. “It smells so bad in there and it’s so cold that people are sleeping in air ducts and shower rooms just because they are a little bit warmer.”[2]

CAPACITY is a durational performance of wall painting that will aim to represent this other recent use of the Taekwondo Stadium where Art Athina is now situated. It deals with the rapid turnover of use of the building, and the ability to recycle space in alarmingly different ways during this period of upheaval in Athens. As the space was only temporarily past of this crisis, the artwork also shares that transient quality and will be painted over after the end of the event, leaving no trace.

During each day of the fair, Khan-Dossos will work on site, attempting to paint all of the 2000 bodies reported to have been sleeping in the building this winter. Its aim is to draw attention to the sheer number of young men in particular, who are stranded in Athens, but remain less visible in the media coverage of the crisis. Visitors to the booth will be able to see the artist at work, and watch the painting develop on a daily basis. In a reverse of the norms of an art fair schedule, the ‘early bird’ VIP viewers at the beginning of the fair will see almost nothing of the work, only the underdrawing, whereas those who visit in the last hours of the last day will see the full effect of the completed painting.

With such a large scale work being attempted in so few days, the artist will invite visiting members of the public to pick up the brushes and paint and help colour in the many figures making up the capacity of the building used in such a radically different manner.

With the Support of Polyeco & Polyeco Art Initiative

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[1] “You have to treat people like people and then it’s easier to manage everything,” Koutsianas said, but later expressed doubts about the stadium’s long-term feasibility. “I don’t think this facility is suited for this use,” he said. http://www.dw.com/en/refugee-relocation-in-athens-hits-snags/a-18901144

[2] Payman Qasimian, an Iranian who lived in the United States for 15 years, passed one night in the stadium with his family and said he would never do it again, as reported to Deustche Welle http://www.dw.com/en/shut-off-from-the-balkan-route-asylum-seekers-flood-into-athens/a-18913019

 

Navine G. Khan Dossos

b.1982
Lives and works in Athens and London.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016 Imagine A Palm Tree, Benaki Museum Islamic Art Collection, Athens
2016 The Black Standard (with Niek Hendrix), Galerie Roger Katwijk, Amsterdam
2015 ψ, Fokidos, Athens
2015 Komt Hier Aan Deze Gele Vlaktes, Probe Projects, Arnhem
2014 Pre-Image, Peninsula Art Space, Brooklyn, New York
2014 Sucker Scar Script, Crowell Fine Art, New Bedford MA
2013 So Much Magic, Chelsea College of Art & Design, London
2012 Where Are You Know?, Project D / Capital D Studios, Dubai
2011 Economies of Language, Hardy Tree Gallery, London
2009 Torero/Torera, Viktor Wynd Fine Art, London
2008 Pale The Wall, Leighton House Museum, London
2006 Just Weight, Full Measure, ABCC, London
2006 This Being Human, Christ’s College, Cambridge University

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2016 Yes Screaming No, The One Minutes, Amsterdam
2015 Art In The Age Of …. Asymmetric Warfare, Witte de With, Rotterdam
2015 Art In The Age Of …. Planetary Computation, Witte de With, Rotterdam
2015 The Girl With The Sun In Her Head, Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht
2014 Abstract Geometry, Rook & Raven, London
2014 Salon, Marcelle Joseph Projects, London
2013 Watching You, 10011, New York
2013 Hierarchies, Chelsea College of Art & Design
2013 Celluloid, Cellulose, Cellulite, Chelsea College of Art & Design
2013 Surface, Chelsea Future Space, London
2013 Take Me Out, Limoncello Gallery at London Art Fair
2012 This Is London, Shizaru Gallery, London
2012 Shem, Galerie Arnaud Lefebvre, Paris, France
2012 Modes ottomanes: la gravure de l’Orient au Siècle des Lumières, Amiens, France
2011 Call Me Ishmael, Parfitt Gallery, London, UK
2010 A Journey into the World of the Ottomans, Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar
2007 The Desert Generation, Jerusalem & Amsterdam
2006 Pathos To Ethos, Eleven Fine Art, London

AWARDS, COMMISSIONS AND RESIDENCIES

2015 The Politics of Food II, Delfina Foundation, London
2014 Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht
2012 Chelsea Arts Club Trust Special Projects Award
2011 Random Acts, five short films for Channel Four
2008 Artist in Residence, Leighton House Museum, London
2007 Artist in Residence, A.M. Qattan Foundation, Ramallah
2006 Artist Studentship, Christ’s College, Cambridge

SELECTED ESSAYS / PRESS

2015 The Handsome Cabin Boy
The Happy Hypocrite Issue 8: Fresh Hell

2015 Art In The Age Of…
With de With Publishing, 2015

2014 For The Motherboard by Vanessa Hodgkinson and James Bridle
The White Review, October 2014

2013 Techno-Primitivism by Vanessa Hodgkinson and Prof. David Trotter
The White Review, May 2013

2013 The Inkhorn and the Last (The Etymology of Technological Vocabulary)
by Vanessa Hodgkinson and James Bridle
JAWS Journal, Chelsea College of Art and Design

2012 Seeking a Better Viewpoint to the East, by Jyoti Kalsi
Gulf News, Weekend Review, December 2012

2011 Fucked-Up Re-Appropriation or In Defense of Vanessa Hodgkinson
by Sophia (Mohamed) Al-Maria, December, 2011

EDUCATION

2012-13 MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art & Design
2012 Post-Graduate Diploma, Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art & Design
2000-3 BA History of Art, Emmanuel College, Cambridge

 

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